How to confirm the presence of Asbestos during your Home Inspection

Erich Kelter - Friday, March 20, 2015
How to confirm the presence of Asbestos during your Home Inspection

There may come a time that you discover what may be Asbestos in your home or it may have been discovered during your home inspection. Many people tend to panic when they even hear the word, so here is some prudent advice when dealing with a potentially serious matter.

Common Areas of Asbestos Presence in your home

Asbestos is a commonly found product in many home building supplies and materials, chances are if you own a home constructed prior to 1985, it may have building materials with asbestos in it. Asbestos was commonly used in the HVAC industry as heat shielding and insulation and as such this is usually where asbestos comes up in home inspections.

Common areas to potentially see asbestos are around boilers as insulation wrap, heating ducts as insulation and heat shielding, and in attics where vermiculite insulation (not all vermiculite is contaminated with asbestos) is present.

Ways to confirm presence of Asbestos

The only way to confirm the presence of asbestos is to have it tested by a qualified lab. In general, it is accepted that if asbestos is present in a home or material, that it generally does not pose a health threat unless it is disturbed or handled incorrectly. What this means is, if you come across suspected asbestos in your home or during a home inspection, DO NOT disturb it! If encountered you should contact a qualified remediation specialist to remove the material safely and correctly. Some very small jobs may be able to be remediated by a homeowner with the correct PPE and training, but if in doubt you should always contact a professional.

Before getting overly excited about a possible asbestos issue, its best to not touch or disturb the materials in question and seek professional assistance to ensure you can take the correct course of action after testing is completed.


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